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Landslip closes major rail route into London

The line is expected to remain closured until Tuesday  (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The line is expected to remain closured until Tuesday (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A major rail route serving London remains closed due to a landslip.

Network Rail said it is “working round the clock” to carry out repairs on the Chiltern main line following a landslip near Bicester, Oxfordshire, which has closed the line between London Marylebone and both Birmingham Moor Street and Oxford.

Chiltern Railways issued a “do not travel” alert as the line is not expected to reopen until 7am on Tuesday, causing major disruption to journeys, with the boss of the firm apologising for the closure.

The line was also closed on Sunday due to the repair work.

More than 50 steel piles are being installed at the site of the landslip, which was discovered on January 11.

Network Rail central route director Denise Wetton said: “I’m really sorry to passengers affected by the landslip on the Chiltern main line near Bicester North station which has been caused by recent stormy weather and heavy rain.

“Our engineers are working round the clock to carry out repairs which will involve a complete closure of the railway.”

Services from London Marylebone towards Banbury and Birmingham are being cancelled or are terminating at Haddenham & Thame Parkway.

Those from Birmingham and Banbury towards London Marylebone are being cancelled or are terminating at Bicester North.

A limited rail replacement bus service is running between Haddenham & Thame Parkway and Bicester North.

Richard Allan, managing director of Chiltern Railways, said: “We’d like to apologise to customers who are affected by the closure of the railway near Bicester for urgent repairs to the track following a landslip.”

Mr Allan added that “this decision was not taken lightly, but is essential while Network Rail repair this landslip on the Chiltern main line”.

“I would urge customers to consider alternative methods of transport. Ticket acceptance will also be in place with numerous other train operators. I’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while Network Rail work at pace to reopen the railway.”

Additional reporting by agencies.